Capital Update – For the Week Ending November 4, 2022

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Senator Boozman Requests a Report on USDA COVID-19 Relief Spending

What happened? U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas) submitted a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting an accounting of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) COVID-19 relief spending. 

Why did USDA give aid? USDA gave more than $11 billion to help farmers, ranchers, loggers, restaurants, schools, and others in response to challenges and market disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Why was there a call for concern? As Senator Boozman stated in the letter: “I am concerned, however, that as the need for additional financial resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic has waned, USDA has begun using unobligated balances from Section 751 of Subtitle B of Title VII of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) for projects unrelated to mitigating the impacts of the coronavirus.” 

Read Letter 

Grants and Loans Announced to Increase Competition and Expansion of Meat and Poultry Processors

What happened? USDA announced that over $223 million in grants and loans will be available through 33 meat and poultry-related projects. 

-$73 million in 21 grant projects through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) 

-$75 million in eight projects through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program 

-$75 million investment in four projects through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program 

Why is this important? A number of pork facilities are included as part of the meat-related projects. The investments support creating opportunities for processing capacity expansions that will increase competition for meat and poultry processors and producers. The grants and loans will support producer incomes, strengthen the food supply chain, lower costs for working families, and create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. 

NPPC is encouraged that the grants and loans will create a level playing field for competition in the marketplace, while ensuring affordable, wholesome, and nutritious pork products for consumers across the globe. 

Grieving the Loss of Dr. Ken Stalder

The pork world unexpectedly lost Dr. Ken Stalder, Iowa State University Extension Swine Specialist on Oct. 24. An integral part and contributor to the study of the immune response between pure and crossbred animals, partaking in maternal sow and terminal sire line tests, serving as an ultrasound service provider, developing and establishing a nationally and internationally recognized research program, and much more. Please join us in remembering Dr. Stalder for being a friend to many, and for his tremendous contributions and investments put forth as an allied partner for the swine industry. 

Educational Opportunities: 

Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship, which is sponsored by CME Group and National Pork Industry Foundation (NPIF) and managed and administered by NPPC. Ten $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students who plan to pursue a career in the pork industry and exhibit characteristics representative of future pork industry leaders. All entries must be submitted by Jan. 3, 2023 to be considered. 

Neil Dierks Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Neil Dierks Scholarship, which is sponsored by the NPIF and is managed and administered by NPPC. One $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student seeking a graduate degree in a field related to the pork industry at a land grant university. Submissions are due by Jan. 3, 2023.